Separating Europe and Asia Minor in the north from Africa in the south, the Mediterranean Sea has historically been an important trade route and is today a popular destination for cruise-goers. The sea’s warm waters are connected to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, while it also offers access to the Red Sea, via the Suez Canal, and the Black Sea. Its surface area is some 2.5 million square kilometers, and is home to in excess of 3,000 different islands. Mediterranean cruises offer an exciting way of exploring the rich heritage of southern Europe as well as relaxing under warm, sunny climes.